During the week of October 23rd, Carl Albert State College celebrated Homecoming with a wide array of events geared toward both students and alumni.
“We were thrilled to celebrate together our fine institution and those who have called Carl Albert “home,” said President Jay Falkner. “It was a fun week with our campus community and alumni.”
The week’s events included softball and baseball games, golf tournament, a wrestling intrasquad dual, Vike at Nite, student activities, cookouts, and the first ever Athletics Hall of Fame induction and banquet.
On Thursday, October 26th, the Carl Albert State College Alumni Association recognized outstanding individuals for their professional and personal achievements through service, dedication and loyalty to CASC at the annual Homecoming Celebration. Selected as Homecoming King and Queen are Nathan Grogan and Kylie Hulse. Nathan Grogan is from Red Oak, OK. He is a Business Administration major at CASC. Nathan is part of the CASC Choctaw Nation FYI Program. Kylie is from Grace, Idaho. Her major is Business Administration. At CASC she is a member of the Scholars Program, serves as a Residential Housing Assistant, and is a member of the Viking Women Wrestling Team. Kylie placed 3rd at last year’s National Wrestling Tournament.
Recognized as a distinguished alumna, Dr. Summer Taylor-Morrison is a 2016 graduate of Carl Albert State College. During her time at CASC, she was a member of the Scholars Program and President’s Leadership Class, Phi Theta Kappa, active in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, served as a Resident Assistant, and won Miss CASC 2015 which allowed her to represent CASC at Miss Oklahoma. She graduated with highest honors with degrees in Biology and Business Administration. Upon graduation, she transferred to the University of Oklahoma where she was a member of the Transfer Leadership Class. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with distinction in 2018 and matriculated into medical school at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2019. She graduated from medical school in May 2023 as a member of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society. She currently serves as a Resident Physician in Family Medicine for the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, OK. She and her husband, Kolby, and son, Asher, reside in Stilwell, OK. Dr. Taylor-Morrison holds a profound appreciation for CASC, the Scholars Program and the numerous opportunities and experiences provided during her time here.
Tim Olive was recognized as a distinguished alumnus. Olive is married to Jamie, his high school sweetheart, and together they have three children. Olive graduated from Heavener High School, attended nursing school at CASC and graduated in 2002, earned a BSN from Northeastern State University in 2005, and currently serves as an Adult Nurse Practitioner and graduated in 2010 from UCA in Conway, AR. He currently serves as an Adult/Gerontological NP at Mercy Clinic in Poteau. He proudly serves as an Elder at Poteau Church of Christ and enjoys hunting, fishing, pickleball, and spending time with his family.
Also on Thursday evening, CASC presented three Wall of Honor distinctions, one to Howard Cagle and the other to Lloyd Lee. Local Poteau resident Howard Cagle is married to Susan, and together they have two children. Cagle owned and operated Cagle Construction Company and Cagle Properties until his retirement in 2019. Cagle became a Mason and joined the Freemasonry in the State of Oklahoma in 1989 and currently serves as the District Deputy Grand Master. Lloyd Lee is a 1958 graduate of East Central University and currently resides in Norman. After serving in the U.S. Army, Lee enjoyed a career as an educator at Stuart Public Schools, as a regional sales manager at Farmland Industries, and as a general manager of the Farm Co-Op. Lee married Dana Bennett and they had two sons. Lee became a Mason and joined the Freemasonry in the State of Oklahoma in 1962 and received his 60-year pin in 2022. As local Masons, Cagle and Lee volunteered their time to serve as Trustees on the CASC Development Foundation and were instrumental in supporting CASC scholarships through the Adopt-A-Scholar Program. Through the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, the Lodges of District 26 and District 2 have actively supported the Adopt-A-Scholar Program since 2004 and have helped over 570 students achieve their educational goals to transfer to four-year institutions, graduate, or begin their professional careers.
Edward Hummingbird was a Wall of Honor Service Award Recipient. He has worked in the field of higher education since 1987, as an instructor, an institutional researcher, and institutional effectiveness specialist, and a planner. His areas of specialty included student tracking, assessment and evaluation of administrative departments, and data-driven student success planning and programming. Aside of his work in higher education, Edward has a keen interest in indigenous art, having owned the Blue Deer Gallery for more than twenty years. He was at one time a painter, and is profiled in Susan Power’s book “Art of the Cherokee - Prehistory to Present.” He has curated numerous public exhibitions at colleges and public art museums. He has lectured on indigenous art at Oberlin College and Yale University, and will be a featured speaker at the Joe Smith Symposium on indigenous environmentalism at Syracuse University later this year.
For the first time ever, CASC hosted an invitation-only Athletics Fall of Fame Banquet, during which distinguished athletic alumni were honored. “This is the first year for the Athletics Hall of Fame,” said Jake Lords, CASC Athletic Director. “We are excited to honor past Viking athletes and coaches for their many accomplishments.”
Being honored this year was the 1999 Baseball Team who placed 3rd in the NJCAA World Series. These were tough, hard-nosed country kids that liked to hunt and fish, and were brought up to never back down from a challenge and embrace hard work. The Vikings got off to a hot start in the ‘99 World Series, winning both of their first two games, making them one of two unbeaten teams in the tournament. The team finished third place in the nation, with a 42-19 record.
Also honored was Jeff Frye, a 1986 CASC alumnus and MLB player. Jeff Frye’s story is one of a young boy who graduated from Panama High School, and realized his dream of becoming a major league baseball player. Born in Oakland, California, in 1966, he moved to Panama, Oklahoma, after his sophomore year in high school. He participated in baseball, basketball, and football at Panama High School. He played junior college baseball his first two college years at Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Oklahoma, under Coach Mark Pollard.
CASC Baseball Coach Mark Pollard was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Pollard received his 1,000th win in 2016 during his 34th season as the CASC Vikings baseball head coach. Pollard’s success is evident when looking at his accomplishments. He led the Vikings to five World Series appearances and seven Region 2 Championships. Pollard produced 11 draft picks with two making it to the Major Leagues. He also produced 15 NJCAA All-Americans, 19 Academic All-Americans, and 12 Distinguished All-Americans.
Ron Murphree was also honored during the banquet. Murphree coached for 38 years. He began his career coaching at the junior high level. He honed his skills, and worked his way up to the college level. He was head coach at Carl Albert State College for 10 years from 1993 to 2003. While there he coached several great players, but his most memorable are Corey Brewer (1995-1996), William Gladness (1995-1997), Daryan Selvy, David Walls, and Andre Grayson.
“We were also thrilled to recognize Laura Lockaby-House, a former softball player and coach known for her many achievements,” said Lords. House is a former softball player, coach, and educator known for her field achievements and her teaching dedication. She began her softball career as a player for the Lady Vikings from 2000 to 2002. During her time with the team, she showcased her skills as a catcher and third baseman, contributing significantly to the team’s success.
“We are looking forward to our next Homecoming celebrations with excitement and anticipation,” said Falkner. “Celebrating our students and alumni is a joy and a privilege!”